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Introduction to Chinese visa

2021-03-10 13:38

1. Basic Concepts

(1) A visa is a travel document issued by authorized government agencies to foreign citizens applying to enter, transit through or exit from the host country's territory based on the host country's laws and regulations. In accordance with international law and practice, any sovereign state is entitled to determine whether to allow a foreign citizen to enter or exit from its territory, and whether to issue a visa, decline a visa application or to cancel an issued visa in accordance with its national laws.

(2) Chinese embassies, consulates and other institutions stationed abroad authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China are visa-issuing authorities responsible for issuance of visas to foreign citizens abroad, and are entitled to determine the type, number of entries, validity and duration of each stay of a visa to be issued, or to decline a visa application or revoke an issued visa, in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations. According to Chinese law, a foreign citizen may be refused to enter China even if he/she has a valid Chinese visa.

(3) Foreign citizens must obtain a visa before entering China, with the exception of visa-free entry based on relevant agreements or regulations (Please refer to the website of the Chinese Consular Services or National Immigration Administration http://cs.mfa.gov.cn/wgrlh/lhqz/lhqzjjs/ ). Foreign citizens that fall into categories of Article 22 of the Exit and Entry Law of the People's Republic of China are qualified to apply for port visas from visa-issuing authorities entrusted by the Ministry of Public Security at a port of entry approved to issue port visas by the State Council.

(4) For visits to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) or Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR), an entry visa must be obtained as required by the Government of HKSAR or Macao SAR, except citizens from some countries or regions exempted from visas for short term visit. Visa applications must be made separately if the traveler wishes to visit both HKSAR/Macao SAR and China's mainland.

2. Visa types

There are four types of Chinese visas: Diplomatic visa, Courtesy visa, Service visa and Ordinary visa.

Ordinary visas are further divided into the following categories. Please apply for the visa which most suits your specific circumstances.

Visa list

Description of visa


Issued to foreign crew members by means of international transportation,

 including aircraft, trains and ships, or motor vehicle drivers engaged in 

cross-border transport activities, or to the accompanying family members of the 

crew members of the above-mentioned ships.


Issued to those who intend to reside in China permanently.


Issued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and

 other non-business activities.


Issued to those who intend to transit through China.


Issued to resident foreign journalists of foreign news organizations stationed in

 China.  The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.


Issued to foreign journalists who intend to go to China for short-term news

 coverage.  The intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.


Issued to those who intend to go to China as a tourist.


Issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities, or

  for competitions.


Issued to those who are family members ("Family members" refers to spouses,

 parents, parents-in-law, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers,

 sisters, grandparents, grandsons, and granddaughters.) of Chinese citizens or of

 foreigners with Chinese Permanent Residence and intend to go to China for

 family reunion, or to those who intend to go to China for the purpose of foster

 care. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.


Issued to those who intend to visit their relatives who are Chinese citizens

 residing in China or foreigners with Permanent Residence in China. The

 intended duration of stay in China is no more than 180 days.


Issued to those who are high-level talents or whose skills are urgently needed in



Issued to those who intend to go to China to visit the foreigners working or

 studying in China to whom they are spouses, parents, parents-in-law, sons or

 daughters under the age of 18 , or to those who intend to go to China for other

 private affairs. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days.


Issued to those who intend to visit their family members ("Family members"

 refers to spouses, parents, parents-in-law, sons, daughters, spouses of sons or

 daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandsons, and granddaughters.) who

 are foreigners working or studying in China, or to those who intend to go to

 China for other private matters.  The intended duration of stay in China is no

 more than 180 days.


Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of more than 180 days.


Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of no more than 180 



Issued to those who intend to work in China.


3. Visa validity

Visa validity("Enter before") means that the visa is valid,or can be used for entering China from the date of issue to the "Enter before" date indicated on the visa (Beijing Time). If a visa has unused entries, the bearer can enter China before 24:00 (Beijing Time) on the expiration date. A visa becomes invalid if all the entries are used up or if the visa has expired even though there are entries unused.

4. Entries

"Entries" refers to the number of times the visa bearer is permitted to enter China during the validity of a visa. A visa becomes invalid if there are no entries left, or if there are entries left but the visa expires.

5. Duration of each stay

"Duration of each stay" refers to the maximum days the visa bearer is permitted to stay in China on each visit, which is calculated from the next day of your entry into China.

6. Important notice

(1) The Consulate-General of China in Sydney does not directly accept the visa applications from ordinary passport holders. For visas to China's mainland, HKSAR or Macao SAR, the applications should be submitted to the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Sydney.

The address and contact details of the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Sydney are as follows:

Address: Level 1, 140 William Street,Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011, Sydney

Website: http://www.visaforchina.org  

Telephone: 02-94758800

Fax: 02-94758899


(2) Diplomatic or Official (Service) passport holders need to submit their applications to the Consulate-General of China in Sydney directly. The applicants for R visa (including spouses and minor children of R visa applicants) could submit their applications to the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Sydney (https://www.visaforchina.org/SYD_EN/ ), or to the Consulate-General of China in Sydney directly.

(3) For more information, please visit the China Consular Service Network (http://cs.mfa.gov.cn/wgrlh/lhqz/ ) or the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Sydney (https://www.visaforchina.org/SYD_EN/ ).

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